The Annotated Richard McBeef
Summary: As John leaves the breakfast table to watch TV, it's hard to not notice Seung-Hui's biting commentary about the American home, where television has replaced the breakfast table as the method of communication for the average middle class family. Things turn ugly when Richard McBeef's innocent inner-thigh touch is construed as molestation by the mercurial John. Richard is then confronted with the fact that he may be partially responsible for the deaths of two beloved American figures, and may also be guilty of trying to get into one of the pant legs of John's mother - a seemingly impossible task for a man as large as Richard McBeef. It is on page two that we are introduced to the boating accident that claimed the life of John's father; nautical disasters being a theme common in works of Cho Seung-Hui such as I Fucking Kill the Cruise Ship and Sink, Sink, Sink, Murder, Die, Die, Death Fucker (also available in Crib Notes).
With John's accusations about Richard McBeef, Seung-Hui is being topical. If you are topical, this means that you are referencing current events! It can also mean you are a cream that can be purchased over the counter which can heal rashes and eliminate warts that your mother always asks about when you visit her! Some people fault the works of Cho Seung-Hui for their topical nature, but the threat of being molested by Catholic priests and Michael Jackson has never been important than it is today. Truly, Cho Seung-Hui knew how to tap into the fears of the American public with his writing!
Summary: The worm turns as John reveals the 30 year-old tabloid magazine he has concealed in his sleeve since the marriage of Richard McBeef and his mother. This clues the reader into the fact that McBeef may not be the man he seems to be. As a government janitor, McBeef had access to very important information and powerful mops. Could he have used these items to orchestrate the assassinations of two popular entertainers? More importantly, could these same items have killed John's father? The debate grows heated as John and McBeef discuss the value of remote controls until it gets out of hand and Richard attempts to strike John. Sue appears to shield her son from the blow and scold Richard for his poor parenting and chubby face. But Richard's McBeef's chubby face cannot hide his rage.
In this passage, we can clearly see that John has an Oedipus Complex! This means that he wants to kill his father and have sex with his mother. Aye-yai-yai! Try explaining that at the next family reunion. But at least you'll have something in common with your grandpa! The term Oedipus Complex comes from the play Oedipus Rex, where the title character kills his father, fathers a child with his mother, and blinds himself in a terrible way when he finds out! Yikes! But despite what most clinical psychologists say, having an Oedipus Complex is completely natural and nothing to be ashamed of. So there!